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Notification information for Health Professionals

Notifying Public Health South

Public Health is responsible for identifying, assessing and reducing communicable disease risks in our communities. This includes the management of people with communicable disease and their contacts. Health practitioners have a vital role to play in this by promptly notifying Public Health of any patients suffering from a notifiable disease. This is a legal requirement under Section 74 of the Health Act 1956.

There is also a legal requirement to report any patient suffering from poisoning or an injury from:

  • Hazardous substances (Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996); or chemical contamination of the environment  e.g. pesticide poisoning (Health Act 1956).
  • Additionally, the following non-infectious diseases also require notification under the Health Act (Cysticercosis, Decompression sickness, Lead absorption, Taeniasis, and Trichinosis).  

Diseases to be notified on clinical suspicion, before laboratory confirmation include:

  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
  • Infectious Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • Measles
  • Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease (Meningococcal diseases)
  • Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome novel coronavirus (MERS Co-V)
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Outbreak (two or more cases of any condition linked to a common source)
  • Any emerging public health problem if you are concerned about it.

All other diseases that are notifiable can be found here

To notify urgent diseases (including those requiring authorisation for testing):

Phone 0800 688 439 (0800 NOTIFY) (available 24/7 for all providers)
Alternatively phone the hospital switchboard: Dunedin 03 474 0999 or Southland 03 218 1949

To notify non-urgent diseases, during working hours either:

  1. Email by using the MOH notify email address NotifyMOH@southerndhb.govt.nz; Or
  2. Notify via ERMS (if ERMS is not available please complete a notification form and send to Public Health South via the email or fax below).

Additionally:

  • Notifications from within a Southern DHB hospital should be sent electronically using a Consult Request (Internal Referral) through Pulse; Or
  • Phone Public Health on 0800 688 439 (0800 NOTIFY) to notify in person, obtain authorisation for laboratory testing (when required) or seek advice on contact tracing and case exclusion where relevant; Or
  • Fill in the notification form and fax to:
    a. For Otago notifications (03) 476 9858; or
    b. For Southland notifications (03) 214 9070 

     

    Please make sure you have the following relevant details about the case available when calling:

    • patient's details
    • patient's occupation
    • patient's place of work, school or pre-school
    • date the illness began
    • recent travel history in New Zealand or overseas (please note date of arrival into NZ and list recent countries visited)
    • whether the patient has been informed that they have a notifiable disease
    • vaccination status (if relevant)
    • whether there are any vulnerable contacts (e.g. infants or unvaccinated children, pregnant women, or immune compromised individuals)
    • suspected source of infection (e.g. functions attended)

For lead absorption and hazardous substance injury notifications:

Use the electronic reporting system on BPAC (available on Medtech32, My Practice, and Profile for Windows) under 'Hazardous Substances & Lead Notifications' on the dashboard. Additionally click here for further information.

Notification Process for Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and HIV/AIDS

Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and HIV/AIDS are the only sexually transmittable infections (STIs) which are notifiable.

However, unlike other notifiable diseases, STI notifications must not include any identifiable information (such as name, address, phone number).

To Notify STI’s, a new notification process direct to ESR has been implemented. Do not use ERMS.

Full details are available here